Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, February 05, 2007

"Pullman eyes annex of 10-acre parcel; Retail development planned for property on south edge of town"

More on the "Wal-Mart Effect" in Pullman from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
A proposed development has Pullman poised to expand its borders.

Nearly 10 acres of land located at the intersection of South Grand Avenue and Southeast Fairmount Drive was preliminarily approved for annexation by the Pullman City Council in September. Defining the land’s coordinates for the legal description is the only hold-up before the parcel can officially become part of Pullman proper.

The property is owned by Duane Brelsford Jr. and Dan Brannan.

The legal description of this particular parcel is complex because it includes annexation of part of State Highway 27. Because the highway has changed over the years, Brelsford said he is trying to find the right document that dictates the highway right of way.

The legal description of the parcel is needed to ensure that no gaps are present between city and county land.

Pullman Planning Director Pete Dickinson said legal-description snags are normal.

“More often than not, the legal description has a few glitches,” Dickinson said.

Brelsford said he and his partner intend to build a retail development on the site. The project will add to the “synergy” being created by the proposed Wal-Mart and other retail developments in town.

The parcel had been acting much like an island, with annexed land all around it, Brelsford said.

“It makes sense to move it into the city,” he said, adding that it will now be part of Pullman’s tax base.

Dickinson said the parcel is in the urban growth area — land outside city limits that is expected to eventually be annexed. That makes the property easier to annex.

“We’ve already planned for that,” he said. “It’s a little nice when you’re prepared for it in some fashion.”

Dickinson said the city approves about two annexation requests per year. Benefits to being annexed into the city include receiving city services, such as water, sewer and policing. Annexation is approved in two phases. Applicants must first submit a notice of intent to the Pullman Planning Commission, where it is reviewed for compliance with the city’s comprehensive plan. The matter then goes to the City Council for approval.

In the second phase, the applicant files a petition for annexation along with the legal description of the property boundaries. If city engineers find no problems, the issue goes once more before the City Council for a final vote.

Brelsford expects the legal description to be accurate and the issue to be back in front of the council again within the next few weeks.
With all these stories about Pullman business welcoming Wal-Mart, how much longer can PARD maintain the facade that they are "fighting the good fight" on their behalf to keep Wal-Mart out? What will their price be to just quit and go away?

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